Rays keep on winning by drubbing Marlins

by Gary Shelton on August 5, 2019 · 0 comments

in general, Tampa Bay Rays

Rays' Zunino tags out Miami's Rojas at the plate./ CHUCK MULLER

Monday, 4 a.m.

This is how they fool you. This is how you buy into the Tampa Bay Rays.

They haven't had a better stretch all season. The Rays won their sixth straight game -- tying a team record from back in May -- by clubbing the Miami Marlins, 7-2, on Sunday. They've won eight of their last nine, and they're 17 games above .500, and they're daring the rest of the wild-card contenders to keep an eye on them.

Yeah, they're good, all of the sudden. They're clubbing the ball, and they're pitching is good, and even their bullpen has been decent. They've scored six runs or more in seen straight games, the longest such streak in franchise history. They're batting .320 with 16 doubles, two triples and 18 homers over the seven games, and they've hit .325 with runner in scoring position.

They are now a season-high 17 games above .500.

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Brosseau rounds third after his third-inning home run./CHUCK MULLER

The Rays have recorded double-digit hits in seven consecutive games, one shy of tying the club record (8, April 20-29, 2018). They have hit multiple homers in seven straight games, tie

What could go wrong? If you've watched the Rays, you know the correct answer is "plenty." But for the time being, they're a bit of fun.

“It’s gone well," Rays' manger Kevin Cash said of the streak. "Our offense right out

Rays' Aguilar celebrates after hitting his first homer as a Ray./CHUCK MULLER

of the gate from Opening Day on was really hot for a while. You’re going to have some peaks and valleys in there. I think Chad and Ozzie do such a good job of instilling a consistent confidence in them. Understanding that this game’s tough and the offense isn’t always going to roll. They are certainly rolling really well right now.”

Sunday's hero was Mike Brosseau, who  had three hits -- including a home run -- and drove in two runs.

“(He) continues to impress," Cash said. "He hasn’t played a ton here of late just because of matchups. But when he’s asked, he’s ready. Gives great at-bats. The home run was great, but the ball off the plate away, stays on it—he really challenges pitchers. You’ve got to make some really quality pitches to get him out and he continues to do those things.”

Chirinos picks up his ninth win of the year./CHUCK MULLER

Said Brosseau of his limited playing time: “That’s a testament to all the guys on the roster here. There’s so much talent, so much depth everywhere. That’s the thing. Everyone knows when your time’s called it’s time to do a job and time to step up.”

Jesus Aguilar and Avi Garcia each had two hits to lead the Rays.

Yonny Chirinos (9-5) started for the Rays, but he went only five innings before having a problem with the middle finger on his throwing hand. He allowed just two hits and one run while in the game.

“I just felt a little uncomfortable on certain pitches, like the slider and the split,” Chirinos said.

Aguilar had his biggest game as a Ray with a single and a homer.

Duffy is hitting .238 for Rays./CHUCK MULLER

“I just tried to do my job in a good way," Aguilar said. "We’ve got a really young group, but they’ve got a lot of talent. They’ve been showing it the whole year. I just want to come here to support these guys and try to push to do their jobs the right way. I think the last three games I’ve been here they’ve done a really good job.

“I just tried to be on time (on the home run). I tried to hit the ball to the middle. I think I got lucky and hit a home run. I just tried to see the ball. I tried to get ready early, that’s the most important thing for me. Good things are going to happen, believe me. They’ve got a great group of guys here. I think this team has got a lot of things to do.”

Three relief pitchers threw shutout baseball for the Rays, including Andrew Kittredge, who threw two innings.

The Rays opened the game up with three runs in the seventh, including two on a double by Garcia.

The Rays try to stay hot tonight against the Toronto Blue Jays at 7:10 p.m. at Tropicana Field. Charlie Morton pitches for the Rays against the Jays' Jacob Waguespack.

Cash is enjoying his view these days./CHUCK MULLER

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